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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Texas Legacy, First Chapter

I hope you have enjoyed the Texas Soul Series. Texas Legacy is the sixth and final book of the series.


Blurb: Connor's grief threatens to overwhelm him as he turns to the bottle, shoving everyone away. When Mike Jarred bangs on his door, demanding Connor join the living, Connor tells him to piss off. Mike won't abandon his friend and stays, demanding Connor change. With Mike in his business, Connor has no choice but to get sober. But he can't stay away from the bottle forever.

Kip fears that Jamie will realize that his trip over to the male side of his bi-sexuality is over and he'll want a girl. His worst fears are realized when he follows Jamie, finding him at dinner with a beautiful woman—worse, when Kip confronts them he realizes the lady is pregnant and she doesn't hesitate to announce that Jamie is the father.

Lane and Gresh find a surrogate willing to have their baby. All seems great until the surrogate figures out Gresh is too ill to care properly for a child. With their baby lost to them, Lane is depressed. He cheers up only after meeting two orphan boys, wondering if they could become part of his family.

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Excerpt - Chapter One


Texas Legacy

Prologue


Wild Bluff Ranch, Colorado, nestled in a valley east of Eagle Peak

Grant Stovall read over the directives, memorizing the details for his next mission. Since coming to Wild Bluff he'd taken on more responsibilities, becoming a team lead and earning the right to go out on a mission solo. Duff Whitaker had started the ranch four years ago when the Pentagon had approached him. Of course all of their missions were beyond dark, so secretive their existence was virtually unknown.
Ninety percent of the time he and the other men on the ranch were cowboys, but once every few months the garbage needed to be taken care of. He didn't know which he preferred, the long, hard days of ranch work or the precision required for an assassin. Every time he went out on a mission he prayed it would go off without a hitch. So far, he'd been lucky.
This week he was on his way to the Bahamas. Their target was staying in an exclusive resort. He couldn’t just go in and kill Christopher Wylans, he had to wait for the signal. It would make it easier if he could do a quick in and out. Wet work when you waited proved to be more difficult. That's when mistakes happened. And he couldn’t afford any mistakes.
The door banged open behind him and Hank stumbled in. He'd joined the group two months ago. At first, Grant hadn't liked him, but he'd proven his worth on the range, now all he needed to do was prove he could work well on a mission.
"Hey, Grant, heard you were leaving for a few weeks."
"Yeah, you know, party business."
Hank laughed and grabbed an apple out of the bowl on the table. "I'm waiting for my first invitation to the dance."
"You'll get one soon enough. We won't leave you with an un-popped cherry for long."
Hank ambled across the room to the stairs, he loped up the first two then stopped. "Hey, be careful out there. I actually like you and would hate to lose your friendship."
"Thanks and I will be careful. Hell, the deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle and I plan on keeping my rifle close."
"Ha, once a Marine always a Marine."
"Oorah!" Grant called out, watching Hank retreat up the stairs. A few of the guys were Army, there were a couple of Seals and then there were the guys who were the Marines. All in all, their team was well versed and never outmanned.
Grant turned back to his packet, studying the maps, the directions and most of all, the man he hoped would be dead by the time he left the Bahamas.





Chapter One


Mike Jarred banged his fist on the front door, thinking he was going to have to kick the door in if Connor didn't open the damn thing. With his fist balled up he slammed the door again, pissed as hell that Connor hadn't even tried to call him in almost a month. He should have come by to check on the big guy sooner, but he'd gone home, his assignment with the Texas Ranger Division ending six weeks ago and his work with the DEA had kept him busy. They'd talked every week since Riley passed away which had been good, though most of the time Mike had to force the issue, but the last month Connor had ignored his calls and texts. He feared the worst, praying the bastard was still alive.
"Connor, open this fucking door."
He heard movement and almost shouted his thanks. The click of the lock turning made his heart stall. The door cracked a bit and Mike pushed it the rest of the way, banging Connor's head. Connor yelped.
"Thank God you're still alive." Mike breathed in deeply then recoiled. "Fuck, you stink worse than a gutter outside a bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. What the hell have you been doing?"
Connor staggered away, pitched to the left, overcorrected and almost fell to the right. When he was near the couch he spun around and plopped down, his gaze unfocused. He lifted a glass of amber liquid and downed it, dropping the tumbler to the floor when he finished.
Mike watched the glass roll across the carpet and spied two more discarded tumblers near the couch. Connor smelled like he hadn't showered in a few days, maybe a week and the house had a stale, old food odor that made him glad he hadn't stopped for a burger on the way over.
"Time to shower," Mike declared and stalked to Connor, vowing to not budge on this. He would get Connor to rejoin the living and become productive again even if it hurt them both.
Connor didn't move, which meant they were at a stalemate. Mike chewed on his lower lip as he contemplated what to do next. He could force Connor into the shower, but if the big guy wouldn’t come on his own, it might be difficult.
"Connor, get up."
"Fuck you," Connor growled.
"Not smelling the way you do." Mike hauled Connor to his feet. For a moment he thought this was going to be easy then Connor struggled, his hands slapping away Mike's hold. They wrestled and Mike realized he would soon be outmatched. Connor might be drunk, but he was big and hadn't lost any of his strength while he'd been on this bender.
"Leave me alone," Connor growled.
Mike pushed hard against Connor and dislodged him a bit, just enough to grab his cuffs. Connor came at him again, clasping his arms around Mike.
"What are ya gonna do with those?"
Mike grabbed at Connor's arm but lost his hold. If the big guy weren't drunk, he'd be on his ass and shit out of luck. "I'm going to get you to calm down and stop being a jerk."
"Fuck you." Connor pinned him against the wall, plastering his body against Mike's.
Panic filled Mike for a moment then Connor ground his hips hard against Mike's, sending desire straight through him.
"Ain't this what you want? You gonna fuck me now?" Connor yelled.
Mike froze, not knowing where this anger came from. "No, you need a shower."
"He wouldn’t be dead if it weren't for you. You fucker."
Connor reared back to punch Mike, but his balance was off. He swung wide and missed. Mike grabbed Connor's wrist and slapped the cuffs on then used his leverage, just like they'd taught him in training, to push Connor to the wall, getting his other wrist into the cuffs.
They were both huffing and puffing, with Mike leaning into Connor's back, their wrestling had heated up the space surrounding them and a drop of sweat slowly slid down the side of Mike's face.
"Will you?" Connor whispered.
"What?"
"Fuck me."
"Connor, this is not the time."
"Please," Connor begged, desperation sounding in his voice.
Mike grabbed Connor's shoulder and spun him around. The hopelessness he saw in Connor's eyes surprised him. Connor dropped to his knees, his head hung low and his shoulders shaking. Mike touched Connor's arm and he looked up, his gaze pleading.
"Do me. Force me to take it. Make me suck your dick. Use me. Shove your cock so far down my throat I gag."
Six months ago, Mike would have been game for Connor's suggestions, but not with his friend feeling like crap. Mike dropped to his knees in front of Connor and cupped his face. "Not like this. Let's get you into that shower."
"You don't want me?" Connor closed his eyes, his face screwed up with pain.
Mike reached around and undid the cuffs, pulling Connor to his feet. "Time for a shower."
"I can do it on my own." Connor shrugged off Mike's hold and headed to the bathroom, disrobing as he walked.
When Connor dropped his pants Mike sucked in a breath, his head spinning with lust. He wanted Connor, wanted him so bad he almost took up the man's offer. It would have been wrong. Taking advantage of Connor was the last thing in the world Mike wanted to do, but when Connor had offered to suck his dick, Mike's cock had jumped at the chance and lengthened in his pants.
The door slammed, shutting off Mike's view of the gorgeous ass and perfect body. "Connor, what the fuck am I going to do with you?"
The shower started and Mike made his way into Connor's kitchen, looking through the cabinets and drawers, searching for what he needed to make something for Connor to eat. The eggs weren't out of date and he found some biscuit mix in the pantry. He cleaned a bit around the house, tossing old food and washing the dishes. He sped through loading the dishwasher and started the thing, not caring if it stole all of Connor's hot water. He glanced around and began serious work on the food prep. Before the water turned off in the shower, Mike had the biscuits cooking in the oven, coffee brewed, and eggs scrambled.
Mike switched off the burners and set the timer on his phone for the remaining three minutes on the biscuits before he tracked down Connor. The man was still naked, his glorious dark skin flecked with water. Mike had to bite his tongue to keep from rushing forward and grabbing Connor, pulling him into a hug and kissing him long and hard.
Connor looked over his shoulder, his dark eyes dull with pain. "I'm showered."
"Food is on the table. Come out when you're dressed."
Mike backed into the den and moved to the table, clenching his fist. Connor was making this so hard. Hell, Connor had lost his lover and the way Mike had pressed him had been wrong. The blame that Connor had laid on him was partially deserved. Not that he'd actually killed Riley, but he understood how the guilt surfaced, making Mike the bad guy.
The timer on his phone rang and he went to the kitchen, checking on the oven. The biscuits were just right and smelled delicious. He pulled out the tray and placed them on a plate. Connor walked in, a towel in his hand as he scrubbed his hair dry.
"It smells good."
"Sit down. I have some coffee going too."
The scrape of the chair echoed throughout the room, making their silence even more pronounced. Mike placed the egg pan in the center of the table and put the biscuits beside it. He brought over the pot of coffee and two mugs. "Black?"
"I need a little cream with it today." Connor served himself a spoonful of eggs and grabbed two biscuits. He took a bite of the eggs and moaned.
Mike hid his smile as he placed the creamer beside Connor and took a seat across from him. "You can't disappear like this."
"Why not?"
"You have a job that needs you."
"I quit." Connor filled his mouth with eggs and dropped his head, acting like he was ignoring Mike.
"You still have a job there. I talked to Shoemaker, he never actually dropped you. You're still a Ranger. You need to work."
"I can't." Connor put down his fork and pushed away from the table.
He looked as if he was going to run away and Mike couldn’t let that happen. "Stop."
"Why? Haven't you done enough?"
Connor's body rocked forward but before he could stand, Mike jumped up and tossed his napkin to his chair. "Sit down and listen to me," Mike roared. When he thought he really had Connor's attention he spoke. "I had nothing to do with Riley's death. It was an accident."
"We were arguing about you," Connor whispered.
Mike was poised to say something else then he realized what Connor had said. "What?"
Connor scrubbed his hand over his face, blowing out a huge breath. "Fuck, I can't talk about this."
Mike walked around the table and took the chair next to Connor. He almost placed his hand on Connor's knee then thought better of it. "You need to talk about it. This isn't good for you. Sitting around drunk all day isn't going to help you feel better or help you find what you're searching for."
"He's dead. I'll never hold him again."
Mike touched Connor's shoulder and for a moment he thought Connor was going to push him away, but he didn't. Connor's arms came around him, crushing them together. Tears spilled down Connor's cheeks, dampening Mike's shirt. The bitter wails were painful to listen to. In the months since the crash he hadn't seen Connor cry—not like this. Of course the big guy had pushed everyone away, living like a hermit instead of a normal human.
After he cried himself out, Connor pulled away, his eyes averted as he sat back, trying like hell to act normal but failing miserably. Mike stood and pulled Connor up with him. Heat filled Mike, but he wouldn’t let his desire do the talking. "Go wash your face and we're going to take care of a few things around here. Do you have your gun?"
"No, Lane and Gresh took it."
"Connor." Mike brushed his thumb over Connor's cheek; compassion for the man filled him.
"I wasn't—I was and Lane knew. He took all of my ammunition."
"What about now? Can I trust you?"
Connor blew out a breath and stared at the floor for a long moment before raising his head, his gaze meeting Mike's. "I don't know."
Mike felt as if he'd been punched in the gut. Connor was lower than he'd originally assumed. "Promise me you'll wait and talk to me if it gets too overwhelming."
For a second Mike thought he'd overstepped his bounds, speaking out of turn. Then Connor nodded and picked up his mug of coffee, taking a big swig. When Mike had taken the time off to drive out here he hadn't known what he'd find, part of him had hoped he and Connor could hook up. What he hadn't expected was to find the previously confident man so disturbed that he was ready to kill himself. Any thoughts of getting a hotel in town were dashed. He'd sleep on the couch here at Connor's place until he was sure Connor wasn't going to do something stupid and harm himself.

*~*~*

Lane gazed at the progress they'd made, delighted to see the siding finally going up on the house he, Gresh, Jump, and Bruce would occupy. Gresh walked around the corner of the building and Lane raced over, excitement bubbling out. "Babe, it's really taking shape."
Gresh smiled, his lopsided grin leaving Lane feeling like he'd made it to heaven already. Since the accident, Gresh had changed physically. Emotionally things were better between them. They had bonded so much during Gresh's recovery it was as if they'd always been together. Verbally, Gresh sounded slow, but when given the chance to concentrate he was as smart as he'd ever been.
The day Lane had found Gresh staring at himself in the mirror he'd realized how upset Gresh was over his looks. Lane assured him that the burn scars, the cuts and the scrapes didn't bother him. He loved how Gresh looked. The scars gave Gresh a bit of a rakish appearance that Lane adored. Of course it had taken a few weeks for Gresh to believe him, but eventually his husband had stopped being so worried about his physical infirmities. The cane Gresh needed for balance was a problem on the farm. Really it wasn't the cane, just the balance issues. More than once Gresh had taken a tumble because of the uneven ground. The first few times it had scared the shit out of Lane, now they took it in stride. Of course all the cowboys immediately went to work making sure the area around the house was smooth. When the crew was out to pour the pad for the house, they'd poured a cement walk from the house to the barn and a few of the other buildings, giving Gresh a level walkway. Now when it rained, they could walk to the barn without getting muddy.
Gresh had been pissed, thinking they were treating him like a baby, but really the concrete path and the other adjustments had made everything easier for everyone. Gresh finally admitted that the concrete path had been a great addition and wasn't mad about it anymore.
"Do you think Jump and Bruce will really like living in the same house with us?"
"Yeah, I do. You know, the way we designed it, with Bruce and Jump in one wing and me and you on the opposite side of the main living areas, it's more like two houses."
"I love the idea of the media room."
"Yeah, I can't wait to sit and watch some movies with you."
"Really, that's what you're looking forward to?"
Lane cracked a huge smile, his dick waking up. "I'm really looking forward to fooling around with you as we watch movies. I keep thinking about that impossibly huge couch we ordered. It's big enough for us to stretch out on, lying side by side."
Gresh smoothed his hand down Lane's back and he arched toward Gresh's hand. "I love you."
"I'm glad you never gave up on me."
Lane grew serious. They'd discussed it a few times, but with Riley's death they'd not gone as deep as they eventually would on the subject. "I meant what I said in the hospital. I know he's dead and it's easy to say I would never have gone back to him, but babe, I really meant it. You, no one else. Everything, every breath, every heartbeat is for you."
Gresh gazed across the ranch yard, staring at the other cowboys. "I'm glad we have such a huge bunkhouse and I know we can go use one of the cabins when we don't have guests, but I don't feel right about it. I want to take you somewhere away from here."
"Where were you thinking?"
"Bahamas. I want to spend a week on the beach with you. No Miller business. No ranch worries. No care in the world except for each other."
"Yeah, we need to get away. Somewhere that we can cut loose."
"I know the other guys are okay with us because they have their own man, well some of them do, and they like that we're a couple, but I don't feel like I can really be with you in the bunkhouse and the cabins don't feel like home."
Lane stepped close to Gresh and licked his chin. "We need to make those plans soon. I want you so much. Tonight we'll need to do something, but I want you all over me, wild with lust and not holding back. Will you make some reservations for us? Something private."
"Yeah. I'll make a few calls and see what is available."
The door of the bunkhouse banged open and laughter spilled out. Lane turned and saw Jump and Bruce walking arm in arm down the path to the barn. He thought of the guys as brothers. It had taken Bruce's mom and dad a bit of time to accept Jump as family, but they were okay now.

Purchase Texas Legacy Amazon ARE B&N

1 comment:

mprieto1369 said...

I Loved the Texas Soul Series, it was truly amazing. So Sad to see it end, but cannot wait for your new Series to start, great way to include them btw, loved it ;)